Thursday, 20 December 2007 4:11 PM

Landslide Victory for Prime Minister Sikua

The Member of Parliament for Northeast Guadalcanal, Dr. Derek Sikua, beat his opponent, the outgoing Deputy Prime Minister, Patteson Oti, in a landslide victory of 32 votes to 15.

His Excellency, the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena, made the announcement following an hour of voting.

The new prime minister was sworn in by the Governor General at Government House this afternoon.

In his acceptance speech outside Parliament following his victory, the newly elected Prime Minister Sikua said he was humbled by the trust which Parliament had placed on him as the nation's prime minister.

"Out of difficult times often comes virtue, light and growth," the Hon. Sikua stated.

The Hon. Prime Minister Sikua added, "The recent political leadership crisis has demonstrated the strength of our fundamental democratic institution to ensure a just and democratic outcome."

He also acknowledged the leadership provided by the outgoing Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare over the past eighteen months.

Prime Minister Sikua offered "sincere apologies, that of my colleagues, for the hurt we caused in recent weeks".

He broached on the hope that they would work together on efforts to find reconciliation and healing, "which is critical in finding everlasting peace and social harmony" for the country.

Prime Minister Sikua committed to ensuring that the development needs of the "more than 80% of our population" who live in villages remain the key priority for the new government.

"I realize the onerous responsibility that has been entrusted on me," he stated, urging Christians to continue to pray so that God will grant him the wisdom and understanding to lead the country in honesty and truth.

Prime Minister Sikua also acknowledged the Solomon Islands Police Force and the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands for their dedicated services in ensuring safety for the public.